LIFE IN LOCKDOWN | GLENN MORRIS
With over 400 senior appearances, what is the key to having a successful career in football? Dedication...without doubt, you have to be completely dedicated to the game. That means living right on and off the field. Giving yourself the best chance to perform to the best of your ability when you do play on a Saturday or Tuesday. Ability will only get you so far.
How do you prepare for matchdays? For any game preparation is key, from eating the right things to hit peak performance on match day to staying hydrated and recovery, having a strong mentality leading into a performance whatever the opposition brings confidence to perform for the fans. I have my own match day routine which is ritual. Again eating the right things, going through match preparation as well as relaxing to be in control and not feeling overwhelmed of the occasion. Away games, you are governed by management but I take all my concepts in the warm up for what I can do on the pitch.
How do you stay motivated as a goalkeeper when you are out of the team? You have to train and prepare as the first name on the team sheet. Conducting yourself in a professional manner and then when your chance comes you are ready. So you have to stay switched on and be patient.
What advice would you give to a younger Glenn Morris? When I was in my early career, 16-23...I did my extra training. Despite changing room banter, I wanted to be number one. From doing more in the gym to even doing extras after training and matchdays, ultimately it helped me perform and maintain at a top level.
How do you cope with the pressure of playing in front of thousands of fans every week? I think for a goalkeeper it is a different challenge. You can hear everything that is said from behind your goal. An outfield player will be involved in the game the whole match. As a keeper you have to remain focused and in the game. and switched on. You can always impact the game at any stage. I learned from my experiences when I was younger to not get distracted and focus on what I wanted to do best, perform for the fans. You can make mistakes but you still got to come off the pitch knowing you gave it your best.
What has been the greatest advice a manager has given you? I have worked with some fantastic managers and have taken the advice of each coach which has given me the attributes to have a successful career, I think the greatest advice I took was to Play every game as it’s your last....I really do think that’s how you should play. I have seen it far too often where players get caught up with thinking there will be another game. This really helps to focus on performing your best and remaining on task
What influences did you have throughout your career? At an early age coming through there were lots of distractions but I took the decision to sacrifice things and focus on the positive support around me. My family have been brilliant for me and it drives me to perform better. Having the right advice and taking it on board at various stages of your career can really develop you in both the good and not so good times.
With all your experience what do you think you can offers the players of tomorrow? I think I can offer them my experience and advice. It is vital for development of young players they can choose to take on the advice. I’m currently working with a fantastic set up, Crawley Town Performance Academy as the Head of Academy Development, it’s been great to pass my knowledge and experiences to these boys who you can see have really progressed since working with them.
What does it take for a younger player to break through? You have to be fully committed and a hard worker. There are a lot of talented boys out there and you have to take your chance when it comes, some others will have to be patient and earn opportunities, we have one at the moment which I am involved with, the player placement programme which is putting on a trial for lads who have been let go by their clubs and gives them a second chance to make it at a pro club. Managers are 100% in my experience, more likely to play /push a player through who is a good person, hard worker, disciplined and coachable...but of course you have to have the ability to back all that up. It’s been great to see some of the boys from the Crawley Town performance academy get their opportunity to train with us this season. With even one signing professional terms! That was a special moment for all involved.
Crawley Town FC have recently snapped up 17-year-old midfielder Khaleel Rafiq Salah-Edine on a two and a half year deal. Khaleel was handpicked from the newly established scouting programme, what part did you play in his transition from the performance academy to the first team?
Rafiq has impressed in the games that I have seen and based on the rapid development and feedback from his time with the performance academy he earned a call up into first team training. I oversaw the transition with him to guide him into the senior environment and continue to provide my experience to hopefully see him develop as an exciting prospect with the club
The club are always excited to see the development of younger players progressing through the club and with one already signed, we are excited to announce our next young first team player from the scouting programme.
Will you want to be a manager one day? I am fully focused on playing for as long as possible at the highest level. I like to think I'm in the peak of my career so management is maybe something down the line. I think I have good leadership skills and I can relate to the players I do enjoy the coaching aspect and I am gaining valuable experience with the Crawley Town performance academy, so who knows.